The father of a young Adelaide boy whose death is being investigated by police has spoken of the “saddest day” he laid his son to rest.
- The boy, aged seven, died in February after he was rushed to hospital
- Police are investigating whether his death was a result of criminal neglect
- This is the second child death in recent weeks that a special police taskforce is investigating
WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find upsetting.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains the name of a person who has died.
Kaurna-Narungga boy Makai, aged seven, died on February 10 but police yesterday revealed they have been investigating his death — the second suspected neglect case brought before the taskforce in less than a month.
ABC has spoken to Makai’s family and has obtained permission to use his name.
In a social media post, Makai’s father wrote the boy has been laid to rest in the new Kaurna Repatriation area at Smithfield Memorial Park in March.
“My son, Makai, will be the first Kaurna person to be laid to rest in a new location, designated for the Kaurna People,” he wrote.
“What an historic moment this will be and yet it will be the saddest day for me.”
In an earlier post, I thanked close family and friends who supported him and his child through “difficult and challenging time”.
“No father should watch his son die. Wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Not even my worst enemy,” the father wrote.
“The system I put my faith and trust in, failed me and my son,” he wrote in a separate post.
“I miss him so much, I wish he was here with me. I LOVE HIM,” he wrote on a different day.
Makai’s heart stopped three times
Makai’s relatives have claimed on a fundraising page that the Craigmore boy had suffered stomach pains in his final days.
The primary school student visited a doctor and had x-rays after complaining of stomach pains on February 7.
His doctor reviewed the x-ray results the next day and prescribed Makai laxatives.
However, Makai took a turn for the worse the following day, where he could not move and started to hallucinate, his relatives wrote on the fundraising page.
On February 10, Makai — with a swollen belly — was rushed to the Lyell McEwin Hospital by his father.
His heart stopped beating and he went into cardiac arrest twice, and doctors were able to revive him.
Makai underwent emergency surgery and was placed into an induced coma to be transferred to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
During the ambulance trip, Makai’s father was told the boy might not survive the journey to the hospital.
After arriving, Makai’s heart stopped for a third time and doctors were not able to resuscitate him.
The coroner’s report released the following week showed the seven-year-old had died from pneumonia in both lungs, sepsis and the MRSA superbug, a drug-resistant form of golden staph.
Makai’s relatives wrote the diagnosis was “a shock”, because pneumonia was not picked up at the Lyell McEwin Hospital nor by radiology.
The boy’s death is being investigated by Taskforce Prime, which was set up last month to investigate the death of six-year-old Charlie.
A government review — led by former police commissioner Mal Hyde — is underway to examine the interactions that agencies had with both children’s families and to identify any gaps in the child protection system.